This song has been going through my head all day long. Not the entire thing. Just the I don' wanna, I don' wanna, I don wanna wait in vain. No, I don wanna, I don wanna, I don wanna wait and on and on.
A friend once told me that in order to excise a repeating lyric, you have to listen to the entire song. Only then will it finally disappear. Unfortunately, I don't have it or at least can't find in in our itunes library. It might be there, perhaps under some anonymous Track 3, Unknown Artist, because that's what happens when you download, copy and rip music from all sorts of sources without labeling.
You see, this morning, I am procrastinating. As one part of this, I read through a recent post on a friend's blog. She talks about the different phases of becoming an expat. The Honeymoon Phase. Irritation and Hostility. Gradual Adjustment. Adaptation.
So of course, now, that scene from All That Jazz pops into my head. The one where Roy Scheider runs drug addled through his scenes all the while repeating the phases of his life. This, requires a quick trip to IMDB to see if I can figure out exactly what pill he pops into his mouth before looking wild-eyed and crazy into the mirror. It doesn't say. Just says drugs.
Back to my previous point: I'm wondering which of those phases we are in. It's comfortable here. Perhaps Gradual Adjustment? This weekend, we went to a chili cook off for charity. Imagine beer and pots and pots of different kinds of chili on the beach. Lila met Colin, Demi and Ava, some of her friends from school, and we along with their parent walked up the beach to check out Playa Tortuga, a new resort.
To be honest, I don't know why anyone would stay there. It's expensive. $160/night. And it looks like a glorified Motel Six. Not that I have anything against Motel Sixes, we've stayed in our fair share while roadtripping through the US. It's just that they're meant to be a cheap stop on the road, And with all the beautiful choices to stay here, I'm not sure why anyone would want to stay that far out of town where it's hard to find taxis and there's not much to do.
Again, back to my original point: Maybe we're still in Honeymoon. Every morning, I look out on the dock with amazement. I never get tired of the sound of waves against the floorboards,and there are still so many things I'd like to explore. Bastiementos. Diving in areas the dive shops don't generally take you because they're far away and most divers are too inexperienced. We still have visited Isla del los Pajaros or La Loma Lodge.
Occasionally, like yesterday, when I met a woman, an expat from Florida, who had been attacked in town, because she chose not to use the advertising services of another expat here. A man, one of the owners of the advertising group, jumped her, strangled and spit in her face. "I've never in my life. In forty-seven years," she said. "Even though I don't look forty-seven. At least I hope I don't. Had anyone spit in my face before today." Marlon, a man doing some carpentry on the dock, and another expat, piped in to say that here, assault is not an arrestable offence. The police will take you in. You pay ten dollars and then can go. This sort of thing leaves me in Irritation and Hostility. Or perhaps Bewilderment and Fear?
Then, I realize, we don't qualify for any of the phases of a true expat, because we are not. We are in Limbo and have been there since we left Brooklyn. It's a kind of Pernanent Transcience that at first was horribly unsettling then became exciting, wonderful and now I find myself wishing we could find more of the Permanence and less of the Transcience. I think of all the people we've met on the way. Tom. Sib. Steph. Maryanick. Elisa. Ariella. With whom we spent a night, a week or just an evening, All of whom I feel I've known for much longer, would love to spend more time with them, but have no idea when, if ever, we'll see them again. We would love to buy bikes. It's probably the best way to get around, and I just found the best places to buy them. Yet, it seems silly to do when we're leaving in less than 2 months, so we rent instead.
Yes, less than two months until we fly back to Atlanta.This will be difficult for Lila. She had a hard time with our trip to Costa Rica, leaving her comfortable place in Bocas with hummingbirds on the front porch, ice cream at Golden Grill after school and her friends.
We will have to make some real choices, not yet, but soon.
I wonder what soon will mean, because it entails finding a country, city, place to live, school for Lila and work. It means not being able to pick up and visit wherever we want whenever we want, because we will have RESPONSIBILITIES beyond ourselves. Either way, there is a lot to give up and a lot to gain.
So what am I avoiding with all this procrastination? Writing a story. I won't say I'm blocked, because experience has taught me that there is no such thing. There are times when the sentences flow easily and everything fits together well. And then there are times, like now, when every word seems a chore. This story, right now, feels like I'm writing something Hemingway should have written when he lived as an expat in Paris, getting drunk, breaking up with his wife, meeting women who lead him all places but the right ones and ultimately finding nothing but emptiness at the end of his road. But I am not Hemingway nor is my life in any way similar. I have no desire to write a story like his, because it has already been done (and done well).
I believe these "stuck" times signify a change in perspective, and when I get through this story, it will be different than any I have written before.
So Edward awaits me. He just fell down a flight of steps, lost his belongings and is now drinking more whiskey in a cafe with an old friend and a woman he believes to be the love of his life. More choices to be made here.
Oh, it was benzadrine. Bennies. That was the drug of choice for whatshisname.